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Pulaski News -
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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PulaskiNewsincreasessocialmediaP-News Point Of View
Taking on the tunes
by Laura Dahms
Behind the classroom lectures, gym class horrors and bus travelsto and from school, there exists a subtle source of power for allPulaski students: music. More than almost any other method, it inu-ences, motivates and shapes the lives of kids, for better or for worse.For this reason, the school district and community should be moreaware of the sound waves that blast through the speakers and towardyoung people’s ears and minds.This past year, my six and ten year old brothers came home fromschool, and I was appalled to hear them singing the lyrics to a catchy, popular song by Ke$ha. This song boasts the lines “brush my teethwith a bottle of Jack,” “trying to get a little bit tipsy,” “ain’t got a carein the world, but got plenty of beer” and “boys tryin’ to touch my junk, junk.” I asked them where they heard that song and they toldme their
played it all the time.How ironic that the bus, whose ofcial rules state that “profane or indecent language will not be tolerated,” would essentially promotethose same profanities through the music that it plays.My parents had my brothers transferred to a different bus whichhad the radio tuned to a country station. Though country music isslightly better, it still is stacked with sexual innuendos and alcoholreferences. Take, for example, Craig Campbell’s song “Fish.” Thesong tells of his girl that, beneath all the jokes and foolishness, reallyenjoys a different four-letter word that starts with ‘F.’Unfortunately, buses are not the only hosts of this problem.Though many teachers play soothing, classical, or inspirationalmusic as a background for their classroom study times, many do not.Some would argue that reform is pointless since students listen tothis type of music at home. I believe, however, that the school systemshould be a safe haven for kids in a time of insecurity and peer pres-sure. Through their schools, children should be given the opportunityto enjoy the benets of clean music that empowers the mind rather than corrupts it.If tuned into some appropriate music with a good beat, music
increase students’ ability to learn and process information. Accord-ing to R.R. Konrad in “Arts and Social Sciences,” “The systems that[music] nourishes are shown to be the driving forces behind all other learning.” Thomas Jefferson and Einstein both found that playing the violinstimulated their minds whenever they needed a boost in brain power.Similar brainiacs, such as technical designers and engineers in SiliconValley, are almost all practicing musicians.Supported by my parents, I took three years of guitar and six yearsof cello lessons. Participating in the Green Bay Youth Symphonyand my music lessons created an excellent opportunity for me as anon-athletic child. The symphony gave me experience within a team,and each cello and guitar performance gave me a renewed sense of self-condence. Everyone knows that the music programs here in Pulaski are stellar (hence...we’re going to the Rose Bowl Parade...again...booyah!) It’sa good thing, too, because research shows students who participatein school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current andlifelong use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs among any groupinsociety. High school music students have also been shown to holdhigher grade point averages than non-musicians in the same school.According to research, one can experience similar effects bysimply listening to classical music rather than actually
it.Mice made to listen to a variety of music were then tested on howwell they could navigate a maze. Those listening to Mozart werefound to repeatedly nish the maze faster than all others, includingthe mice that listened to nothing. In this district of superb teachers, community involvement andway-above-average education, we should expect nothing less than a professional way to counteract the music that often raids the schools’sound waves. When I contacted Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mel Lightner and District Transportation Coordinator Tracey Szymanski, bothinformed me that there are no ofcial regulations regarding music played in classrooms or on buses. Instead, it is left up to the districtemployees’ judgment to lter out inappropriate songs and artists. Un-fortunately, this current system has not always been effective, andstudents of all ages are often exposed to “PG-13” or “R” rated con-cepts in the music.I encourage all members of this school district to support music, played inside and outside the classroom, but to also be wary of thequality of the tunes. Ask your student(s) what kind of music they hear throughout the day. If you don’t like what they report, make a callto the district employee playing the music. They are always open tocomments. Music presents a great way for students to learn, grow, and beginto dene their tastes and personalities. The band, choir, and generalmusic courses offer an excellent way to experience the best of music.Make music a priority in you and/or your families life, and make surethat your school district represents the best of messages through thetunes that it plays.The next morning, polka en-thusiasts had a different oppor-tunity to get a good work out besides polkaing all night long.The Pulaski Area Swim Clubhosted the Annual 5k Polka Trotat 8:30 a.m. Food and drinks wererewarded to all nishers of therace, who came from near and far to test their strength and speed inPulaski.If, however, arts and craftshappened to be a polka fan’s in-terest that morning instead, theycould walk downtown to the CraftFair that began at 9 a.m. Localcraftsmen and women lined MainStreet with their unique artwork while shoppers enjoyed the beau-tiful weather and variety of thingsto do. Food, drinks and sweetswere offered by many different businesses, including Smurawa’sBakery, which focused on dishingout the Polish culture to each cus-tomer. Polish Sausages, whichwere the very food that startedPolka Days back in 1968, wereready-to-eat all day long.“We had vendors from as far away as Minnesota this year.Eighty percent of vendors werereturning, and they’ve been herefor years. There were a good se-lection of crafts; we have very tal-ented artists,” said Lisa Shelton,organizer of the Craft Fair.At 11 a.m., participants coulddecide to keep shopping or tohead back to the Polka Groundsor Zielinski’s Ballroom for moremusic and fun. For those who feltcondent and competitive abouttheir polka dancing, Zielinski’sBallroom hosted a dance compe-tition at 6 p.m.The Pulaski Fire Departmentdisplayed its retrucks and thecourage of its volunteers at thattime, when they put on the annualFireghters’ Water Fight. Fire-ghters stood on two sides of aeld, a barrel hung from a pulley,and the men and women would blast water at the barrel to pushit to the other side. Spectatorscould choose whether or not toget soaked from the spray.The festivities on Saturdaylasted until 1:30 a.m.On Sunday morning, the PolkaGrounds hosted the Pancake andPorkie Breakfast. Polka Churchwas also available in two ses-sions, one at 8 a.m. with Lu-theran Pastor Don Behrendt andanother at 9:30 with CatholicFr. Patrick Gawrylewski. Musicfrom the Maroszek brothers was played during the Catholic churchservice. Many tents from Sat-urday’s Craft Fair also decidedto come back for another day of sales during these morning hours.This time, the vendors were notthe only ones to line the street because thousands of spectators parked their lawn chairs in thegrass to get ready for the AnnualPulaski Polka Day Parade.The parade boasted hun-dreds of honored veterans, thePulaski Red Raider MarchingBand, many historic vehicles anda very special tribute to reght-ers created by Cub Scout Pack 4031. Speckled throughout the parade lineup were many polka bands that kept the tunes rolling.According to Harold Otto, therewere visitors from Sweden and New Zealand who saw previousyears’ parades online and were soimpressed that they then decidedto come see it for themselves thisyear. Polka Days Parade Marshalfor this year was Tony Harmon-iczak, who was honored for hismany years of community service.Each oat and vehicle dis- played in the parade was enteredinto a contest.The following were judged as the best in the parade:Pack 4031 Boy Scouts, rst place;Apple Valley Nursery, second place; Pennies for Pasadena, bestyouth entry; 1966 John Deere/Waterloo Boy, best antique entry;tractor club, best organizationalentry; Beever Machine, best com-mercial entry; Polish HeritageSociety, best entry that made adifference.Later, free admission wasgranted at the Polka Grounds for music from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.The last hurrah for the Polka Daysevent was the rafe at 5 p.m. Twothousand dollars were given awayto lucky visitors at that time.After that, dancers and mu-sicians packed up and left thegrounds. Every participant of this year’s 33rd Annual PolkaDays will remember the beauti-ful weather, variety of musicians,and abundance of Polish culture.Everyone will be looking forwardto next year’s festivities whenPolka will be the king once again.There are those who must bethanked for their efforts to makePolka Days another success.Harold Otto, General Chairmanand Organizer of Polka Daysfor the past 33 years, wants tothank the merchants of Pulaski,the residents, the Police Depart-ment and Police Cadets, theLessor/ Navarino First Respond-ers, Pulaski Village Board, Presi-dents of Pulaski, the reghters,Tom Holewinski and his villagecrew and all the clubs that wereinvolved.“So many people were therethat helped out. All of these people were from Pulaski, tryingto make sure the grounds were perfect,” said Otto.So what’s next for PolkaDays?“We always like to have some-thing new every year,” said Otto.Pulaski News will cover anyPolka Days 2012 updates in theupcoming year.
Polka Days/front page